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The Wave Treader: A Wave/Wind Power Hybrid

Apparently, wave power plus offshore wind power equals something akin to Green Ocean Energy’s Wave Treader. The device is based on the Ocean Treader, a stand-alone wave power machine. According to Green Ocean Energy, its wind/wave power mash-up can generate 500 kW— enough for 125 average homes.

The treader uses sponsons (projections from the side of a watercraft) that react through an “interface structure” onto the foundation of an offshore turbine. Hydraulic cylinders are mounted between the device’s arms and the interface structure.

Green Ocean Energy’s website explains, “As the wave passes the machine first the forward sponson will lift and fall and then the aft sponson will lift and fall each stroking their hydraulic cylinder in turn. This pressurizes hydraulic fluid which is then smoothed by hydraulic accumulators before driving a hydraulic motor which in turn drives an electricity generator. The electricity is then exported through the cable shared with the wind turbine.”

The company has already secured £60,000 in funding from nPower’s Juice Fund, and a working prototype is expected to emerge in 2010.

Photo Credit: CC-Licensed by Flickr user jipol

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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